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Author Topic: On Dwarves... Part Two : Dwarven Religion  (Read 2519 times)
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« on: March 04, 2010, 12:46:39 PM »

This is part two in my very irregular series of discussion prompts about dwarves. The first one was quite a while ago. As such, you may want to refresh your memory on it or even revive the discussion. It can be found here. That is not needed to join this discussion, however.

While I have seen many varied religions for other fantasy races, I there are but two that tend to be associated with dwarves. The first is a polytheistic religion with gods for things like war, smiths, alcohol, and other things important to the lives of the dwarves of the setting. The other is more of a reverence for or worship of nature. Often it is just 'the earth' or 'the stone'.

Are there others out there that I have missed? How do you take your dwarven religion?

Note that I am talking only about what the dwarves worship or pay tribute to. I feel that other aspects of religious practice, particularly burial, are worthy of their own discussion at another time.
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2010, 06:04:01 AM »

There's also ancestor worship, which seems fitting for the race for some reason.
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2010, 07:34:31 AM »

Ghostman

There's also ancestor worship, which seems fitting for the race for some reason.
You're right, I forgot about that one. So is that the way you like it done? Is there a particular reason you think it seems fitting for the race, is it just another one of those things that feels right for them?

I've also the three combined in different ways. For example, the idea of ancestor's spirits becoming one with the earth / stone or great individuals being revered or nearly deified after their death.
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2010, 09:04:04 AM »

As for how I handle Dwarves, there is no such race in the Savage Age - the word 'dwarf' may be used in-character, but as an alternative to 'midget'.

I did create a Dwarven culture for the Thousand Isles community project, where I strove to break the stereotypes while still keeping them recognizably dwarfish. Their religion I made monotheistic - one that forbids all alcoholic drinks!
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2010, 11:24:52 AM »

Myself, I do not have a dwarf-specific religion in Avayevnon.  They are either pagan or Soleist, and most tend to be the latter, if for no other reason than it is politically and economically advantageous.  
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2010, 07:54:13 AM »

Ghostman

I did create a Dwarven culture for the Thousand Isles community project, where I strove to break the stereotypes while still keeping them recognizably dwarfish. Their religion I made monotheistic - one that forbids all alcoholic drinks
I'm going to go ahead and assume you wouldn't mind me asking about that here, then. If I'm wrong, and you've left that behind, just don't answer.

First of all, why would you choose to break from the norm religion-wise for the dwarves? Was it just because you were trying to entirely break away? More importantly, while intentionally seeking to get away from the dwarven stereotype, why did you choose a monotheistic religion (with a twist of nature reverence) over something else?

Also, were you intentionally keeping with the common idea of dwarves by having them be a waring race, only using religion as the reason instead of something else? Was the dwarven infighting (because of the religion) an intentional break from the mold as well, or are the ideas of dwarves as a kind of united front just me?

I could go on but I'd only get more and more irrelevant to the subject at hand, I may have to look up that thread sometime.

Seraphine_Harmonium

Myself, I do not have a dwarf-specific religion in Avayevnon.  They are either pagan or Soleist, and most tend to be the latter, if for no other reason than it is politically and economically advantageous.  
Is that reasoning common for the setting or is it in keeping with the traditional dwarven greed and love of status? Is it then common for those who chose to be of the Soleist faith for such a reason to not actually believe, only practice? And to what extent? Dwarves are often portrayed as zealots, so the idea of them being less devout and following what, to them, is a hollow faith interests me some.
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2010, 10:36:07 AM »

I use both worshiping earth and ancestral worship. Ancestral worship is definitely a big dwarven thing in my opinion. I imagine a vast hall with monolithic statues of dwarven heroes of old. Maybe these statues actually house the ancestral spirits (as they do in my animistic setting), or maybe they're just a way to keep them in memory (hard to forget Thodin the Forge Master when you walk past his statue every day on your way to work).

As for worshiping the earth, I think you'd be hard pressed to design a dwarven race that didn't at one point worship the earth. We worshiped the sun and the moon and the stars since that's what we saw above us all the time; for dwarves, earth surrounds them.
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